The Revolutionary | 2013

Chinese language expert Sidney Rittenberg joined the Communist Party and was active in the Chinese revolution but crossed its leaders and was jailed for 16 years before returning to the U.S.
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Sidney Rittenberg arrived in China as a GI Chinese language expert at the end of World War II. Discharged there, he joined the Chinese Communist Party and was an active participant in the Chinese communist revolution and its aftermath. An intimate of the Party's leadership, including Mao Zedong and Zhou Enlai, he gained prominence at the Broadcast Administration, one of the most important agencies of government. But he twice ran afoul of the leadership and served a total of 16 years in solitary confinement and returned to the U.S. in 1980.